Anti-Zionism Threatens Not Just Israel, but Liberal Democracy Itself

It is all too easy to dismiss the movement boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) as insignificant—having sway only among academic radicals, student activists, and the extremist fringes of the Democratic party. But to do so would be a serious mistake, writes William Kolbrener:

[T]he ideas that inform BDS, and which have influenced parts of the Democratic Party, are part of an ideological status quo at humanities departments across the United States. Specifically, the creed of “intersectionality” positions Zionism and Israel as beyond the postmodern pale: the embodiment of fundamentalist religion, ultra-nationalist politics, and militarism. . . .

Like Satan in John Milton’s great epic Paradise Lost, in order to win BDS must merely create a moral equivalence between the heavenly and satanic angels. BDS does not need . . . to bring centrist liberals to their Devil’s party. Just suggesting a moral equivalence between Israel and its adversaries is enough to persuade life-long liberals to entertain the devil’s fictions: that, for example, the seventeen-year-old girl who was killed last month after swimming with her brother and father “was a settler, after all.” . . .

Those in the BDS movement, and especially their radical Islamist allies, understand the ideological exhaustion of liberals. They cultivate the growing, if still somewhat suppressed, notion among them that the institutions of democracy are irrevocably tainted by colonialism, racism, and sexism.

Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Zionism, BDS, Democrats, John Milton, liberal democracy

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University